BBC just started broadcasting a celebrity challenge program about the Wim Hof method, with the Iceman himself. So far they have shown the first 3 episodes that you can find on YouTube.
Wim Hof, or Iceman, became famous on the Internet and got promoted through social media. He became an online sensation, especially during the pandemic, when people became more interested in conscious breathing. He started appearing in many online summits where he would talk about his method and lifestyle. He became an inspirational speaker and now he is a full time celebrity himself. No surprise then that the more conventional broadcaster got interested in him.
Wim Hof has been interviewed lately by Ellen DeGeneres, National Geographic Traveller and Wallstreet Journal among others. In the past it was mostly such podcast celebrities like Russell Brand or Joe Rogan that would interview him. But now he is becoming more and more popular, and at the end of this year director Kevin MacDonald is supposed to start filming his life story titled ‘Iceman’ with Joseph Fiennes in the leading role. So he is obviously entering the mainstream media.
I do not know any of the British celebrities taking part in this program but it does not matter. We get to know them during the show and to connect with them and their battles. And I know some of the conversations are set up but at the same time these people are genuine and vulnerable when they tell us their stories. And we have seen that on the TV before but the difference is the positive reaction of their roommates who support them. And when people who are famous open up like this, it makes it easier for other people who watch them to be more open.
Unlike other reality shows, either with regular people or celebrities, it is not based on drama and artificially created problems. Here everybody is nice to everybody else. They are supporting and cheering one another, competing not against each other by themselves. They bond by talking about their traumas and facing challenges – jumping into the frozen lake, taking cold showers and ice baths. And they have breakthroughs while practicing Wim Hof’s breathing method.
It is based on three pillars: breathing, cold therapy and commitment. It’s all about the right mindset. As Hof himself explains: ‘There is a natural power in the cold. When we embrace it, is when the magic happens’. And in this BBC series, he tells the celebrities: ‘I want to guide you in how to overcome your fears.’ He tests their limits, because ‘It’s about taking ownership of the power of your own mind.’
It is refreshing to see that somebody on TV decided that this kind of uplifting program can also be entertaining. I have seen similar programs online but it is the first time I have seen it on a national TV. It shows that people have changed over the pandemic and that they are ready for such a series.